Reformist Iranian editors produce new daily
TEHRAN, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A team of maverick reformist editors on Thursday
brought out a new pro-reform newspaper, their fifth in less than two years,
after hardliners closed their latest popular daily.
Akhbar-e Eqtesad, or News of the Economy, hit the newsstands only five
days after the liberal Neshat was closed down by hardliners in the judiciary
for allegedly insulting Iran's supreme leader and questioning Islamic 'sanctities'.
Latif Safari, a former member of parliament and publisher of Neshat,
has been ordered to appear in the special Press Court within 72 hours,
and will turn up for interrogation on Saturday, a member of Neshat's editorial
board told Reuters.
Safari is free on 200 million rial ($66,700) bail for previous complaints
by conservatives against Neshat.
``As the publication of Akhbar-e Eqtesad has coincided with the banning
of Neshat, it is important to make clear that this newspaper is not out
to act as a surrogate for any other paper,'' Safari told readers.
Iran's hardliners, who have strong ties to the conservative establishment,
have long been at loggerheads with President Mohammad Khatami's cultural
reforms, which include the promotion of independent-minded newspapers.